Educating the Consumer

Alan Trachtenberg states in his Incorporation of America: " In department stores, buyers of goods learned new roles for themselves, apprehended themselves as consumers, something different from the mere users of goods. Thus, the department store stood as a prime urban artifice of the age, a place of learning as well as buying: a pedagogy of modernity."

The "lessons" that this facility for education offered to the consumer involved how to organize their homes. The department store modeled the "ideal" home. The actual packaging of items and the advertisements that went with them were symbolic pieces of the marketed lifestyle.